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PM Narendra Modi likely to visit Houston to address Indian Diaspora and strengthen bilateral ties with US

In February this year, a a delegation of NRI community leaders met Modi in Delhi, and requested him to plan his next diaspora event in Texas where about 2,50,000 Indian-Americans live and work.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indian PM Narendra Modi, Wikimedia

Houston, May 17, 2017– Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited by the Indian Diaspora in Houston, Texas in the United States earlier in February, this year. The PMO is considering to visit the city and address the Indian Diaspora along the lines of address made by the prime minister in Madison Square Garden in 2014 and Silicon Valley in 2015.

In February this year, a delegation of NRI community leaders met Modi in Delhi, and requested him to plan his next diaspora event in Texas where about 2,50,000 Indian-Americans live and work.

The visit to the city was further emphasized by US energy secretary Rick Perry when he met the Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan earlier in march. Rick said that Modi’s visit would improve energy cooperation between the two countries, adding a new dimension to bilateral ties, mentioned Indian Express report.

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Considering PM Modi’s interest in space diplomacy, the NASA Johnson Space Centre would also be an attraction.

According to Indian Express report, as the Indian-US space cooperations and plans to launch a launch a joint satellite in 2021 are also areas where Modi would look to build relations with the US, the Texas visit is under “serious consideration” and the PMO will reportedly take a call by the next week.

A BJP leader said, “Time is short, and we would need to make arrangements fairly quickly if the PMO decides to go ahead with the Houston diaspora event.”

He also added that a senior functionary of the ruling party who coordinates such events will be traveling to the U.S. next week.

As the Donald Trump administration is lifting restrictions on exploration and exports, fossil fuels will be an added component while emphasizing the wide range of cooperation between the two countries such as defense and counter-terrorism.

This will be the Indian Prime Minister’s 5th visit to the US in the preceding three years but the 1st visit after President Donald Trump assumed office in January this year.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

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3 Year Old Indian Girl Missing in US, Texas Police Continues Search Operation

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US police
Representational Image: Texas Police searches for the 3 year old missing girl. ians

New York, Oct 16: Police in Texas continues to look for clues in the disappearance of a three-year-old Indian girl, who was left outside her house at night by her father as punishment for not drinking milk, the US media said.

Sherin Mathew, an Indian girl who was adopted from an orphanage, was reported missing on October 7, by her father Wesley Mathew, according to Police Sergeant Kevin Perlich in Richardson, Dallas News reported.

KTRK television reported on Saturday that police aren’t giving up hope even though it’s been a week since she went missing. They were looking for surveillance videos that could show a vehicle leaving the house and returning just before police were called.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the probe and along with the police. The FBI has searched their house.

Welsey Mathew claimed Sherin was placed near a tree in a lane behind the house where coyotes were known to roam at 3 a.m., the station quoted a police officer as saying.

When he went back to look for her about 15 minutes later she was not there, he reportedly said.

However, he did not report the Indian girl 3missing till 8 a.m., the police said.

“Why was the last sighting at 3 o’clock and the parents not call us until after 8 a.m.? That’s the question we want answered,” Perlich told KXAS television.

“As far as why she was out there, how long she was out there, that’s the questions we have for the parents.”

Sherin’s parents also have a four-year-old daughter, who was moved to a foster family by the Child Protection Services, Dallas News reported quoting an agency spokeswoman.

Perlich said that Sherin had developmental problems and had difficulties communicating.

Volunteers from the Emmanuel Bible Chapel, which Mathews attended, helped search a field and other areas near the family’s home, according to KDFW television.

An official of the church, Jose Cherian, told the station that Sherin “is a tiny baby and she’s very active. A very smart girl.” (IANS)

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Recent Trends among the Indian Diaspora and its Increasing Significance

As the Indian diaspora is increasingly organizing itself in the host countries by accumulating the resources, it may have potential impact on the economic, social and political landscape in India.

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Indian Diaspora
Indian Diaspora organizing community identity in the host country

 

What is Indian Diaspora:

The Indian diaspora is a generic term representing the people who migrated from the Indian territories to the other parts of the world. It includes the descendants of these groups. Today, over twenty million Indians which include Non Resident Indians and People of Indian Origin are residing outside the Indian territory as Indian diaspora. According to a UN survey report of 2015, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world. In 2005, Indians formed the world’s third largest diaspora. The Indians who settled overseas in 1960s for more developed countries such as US, UK, Canada, Australia and Western Europe formulate the category of the New Diaspora.

What are the popular host countries for the Indian Diaspora:

The 2010 estimates of Census data of US, UK and Canada suggest that Indian diaspora constitutes three million people in US, 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom and one million in Canada. Indians are the fourth largest immigrant group in the United States. Also, five million emigrants from India reside in the Gulf region at present.

The History of Indian Diaspora:

A brief overview of the history of Indian diaspora suggests that the first group of Indians immigrated to Eastern Europe in the 1st century AD from Rajasthan during the reign of Kanishka. Yet another evidence of migration was witnessed in 500 AD when a group immigrated to Southeast Asia as the Cholas extended their empire to Indonesia and Malaysia thereby spreading the Indian culture in these states. Thus the early evidences of diaspora were found during ancient times. The medieval period witnessed the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism during the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. Mughals took Indians as traders, scholars, artists, musicians and emissaries to the other parts of the country.

Old Diaspora:

The first wave of the Modern Indian Diaspora, also called the Old Diaspora, began in the early 19th century and continued until the end of the British rule. The Dutch and French colonizers followed the suit. Indians were sent in large numbers to become the bonded labourers for sugar and rubber plantation in their colonies.

Indians in Caribbean, Africa and Asia:

By the end of World War 1, there were 1.5 million Indian labourers in the colonies in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. At present, around 60% of Indian diaspora is constituted of this Old Diaspora.

Impact of Immigration policies on Migration from India:

After the Indian independence, a large number of unskilled and some skilled Punjabi male Sikhs migrated to UK from India due to favorable immigration policies in the United Kingdom. Similarly, 1990s onwards, due to software boom and its rising economy, H-1B was introduced in the US immigration policy that allowed the entry of highly skilled IT specialists, doctors, scientists and engineers in the US. Further, 1970s witnessed oil boom in the Middle East that led to significant growth of Indian diaspora in the Gulf region.

While the low skilled and semi skilled workers are moving to the Gulf region for better economic opportunities, highly skilled labour is moving from India to US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Has Indian Diaspora started impacting the economies and societies:

With the growing rate of international migration since the beginning of millennia, there is a significant impact of diaspora on the economies and societies of the world. In recent years, diaspora is influencing the economic, political and cultural affairs in their homeland. It is so because the influence of the diaspora communities increases as they organize themselves and accumulate resources in their host countries for several years. The mobilized diaspora are now influencing the affairs of the homeland countries. A common form of exchange is the financial remittances provided to the relatives by the diaspora community. Overseas family networks of the political elites in India are shaping the political landscape as well. Culturally, diaspora is influencing the music and literature trends in India as the content is consciously structured to cater to the tastes of the diaspora.

What actions have been taken by the government of India to tap the potential of Indian Diaspora:

The first Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was organized in 2003 by the Government of India to expand and reshape the state of India’s economy by the use of the potential human capital which the Indian diaspora reflects. Clearly, Indian diaspora has a larger role to play in the Indian economy over the coming years as the efforts to mobilize them increase in the homeland.

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4 Ships Banned From All Ports For Violating North Korea Sanctions

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South Korea's naval ships
South Korea's naval ships take part in a military drill for possible attack from North Korea in the water of the East Sea, South Korea. voa

The U.N. Security Council has banned all nations from allowing four ships that transported prohibited goods to and from North Korea to enter any port in their country.

Hugh Griffiths, head of the panel of experts investigating the implementation of U.N. sanctions against North Korea, announced the port bans at a briefing to U.N. member states on Monday. A North Korean diplomat attended the hour-long session.

Griffiths later told several reporters that “this is the first time in U.N. history” that the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Pyongyang has prohibited ships from entering all ports.

He identified the four cargo ships as the Petrel 8, Hao Fan 6, Tong San 2 and Jie Shun.

According to MarineTraffic, a maritime database that monitors vessels and their moments, Petrel 8 is registered in Comoros, Hao Fan 6 in St. Kitts and Nevis, and Tong San 2 in North Korea. It does not list the flag of Tong San 2 but said that on Oct. 3 it was in the Bohai Sea off north China.

Griffiths said the four ships were officially listed on Oct. 5 “for transporting prohibited goods,” stressing that this was “swift action” by the sanctions committee following the Aug. 6 Security Council resolution that authorized port bans.

That resolution, which followed North Korea’s first successful tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, also banned the country from exporting coal, iron, lead and seafood products. Those goods are estimated to be worth over $1 billion – about one-third of the country’s estimated $3 billion in exports in 2016.

The Security Council unanimously approved more sanctions on Sept. 11, responding to North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion on Sept. 3.

These latest sanctions ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates, and cap its crude oil imports. They also prohibit all textile exports, ban all joint ventures and cooperative operations, and bars any country from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers-key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation.

Both resolutions are aimed at increasing economic pressure on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – the country’s official name – to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs.

Griffiths told U.N. diplomats that the panel of experts is getting reports that the DPRK “is continuing its attempts to export coal” in violation of U.N. sanctions.

“We have as yet no evidence whatsoever of state complicity, but given the large quantities of money involved and the excess capacity of coal in the DPRK it probably comes as no surprise to you all that they’re seeking to make some money here,” he said.

Griffiths said the panel is “doing our very best to monitor the situation and to follow up with member states who maybe have been taken advantage of by the tactics deployed by DPRK coal export entities.”

As for joint ventures and cooperative arrangements, Griffiths said the resolution gives them 120 days from Sept. 11 to close down.

But “in a number of cases, the indications are that these joint ventures aren’t shutting down at all but are on the contrary expanding _ and therefore joint ventures is a major feature of the panel’s current investigations,” he said.

Griffiths also asked all countries to pay “special attention” to North Korea’s Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies, also known as the Mansudae Art Studio, which is on the sanctions blacklist and subject to an asset freeze and travel ban.

According to the sanctions listing, Mansudae exports North Korea workers to other countries “for construction-related activities including for statues and monuments to generate revenue for the government of the DPRK or the (ruling) Workers’ Party of Korea.”

Griffiths said Mansudae “has representatives, branches and affiliates in the Asia-Pacific region, all over Africa and all over Europe.” Without elaborating, he added that “they’re doing an awful lot more than producing statues in Africa.” (voa)